Lesson 13 - When There is Time NO Longer
Lesson 13 - (downloadable pdf file)
Revelation 10 is an interruption to a line of thought begun in Chapter 8 and not completed until the later part of Chapter 11. The sequence of events that is interrupted is the sounding of the seven trumpets. It is apparent that the seventh and final trumpet (see Revelation11:15-19) marks the end of
this world’s history. This last angel is, however, restrained from sounding his trumpet while the events described in Chapter 10 and the first part of Chapter 11 take place. These verses should therefore be considered parenthetical - an explanation of events that take place just before the close of time.
1. What is the Angel said to be holding in His hand? Revelation 10:2
NOTE: The fact that the little book is said to be open suggests that it was at one time closed.
2. What book does the Scripture describe as being closed? Daniel 12:4
NOTE: The book of Daniel is the only book in scripture that is said to be closed. Since this book was to be closed up until the time of the end, it naturally follows that at the time of the end it would be opened. As the closing of this book was mentioned in prophecy, it is reasonable that its opening would also be marked.
3. What promise was given to Daniel? Daniel 12:13
NOTE: Daniel sought to understand the meaning of the things he had been shown. See Daniel 12:8. The angel then told him that the things he had seen could not be understood until the time of the end, which implies the promise that at that time they would be understood. In telling Daniel that he will stand in his lot at the end of time the angel is giving him the assurance that the prophecies he had recorded, but which he could not then understand, would later be properly understood and proclaimed.
4. What did the Angel proclaim had ended? Revelation 10:6
NOTE: It is apparent from the events yet to follow that this cannot be the end of this world’s history, nor can it be the end of probationary time, for this does not end until Christ ceases His priestly ministry. Probation does not close until the seventh angel begins to sound his trumpet. See Revelation 11:15, 19. It must, therefore, indicate an end of prophetic time, for there is no other time to which it can refer.
5. What did the Angel indicate would end when the seventh angel would begin to sound? Revelation 10:7
NOTE: Ephesians 1:9, 10 tells us that God’s purpose to gather all things in Christ is the “mystery” of His will. Later in this same letter to the believers in Ephesus, Paul states that the preaching of the gospel is a “mystery”. See Ephesians 6:19. In Romans 16:25 we are told that the “mystery” which had been hid from the beginning is the preaching of Christ. It is clear from these texts that the finishing up of the gospel commission - the taking of the gospel to the whole world - given to the disciples by Christ (see Matthew 24:14), is pictured here.
6. In the setting of the gospel going to the whole world, what event is said to be taking place?
Revelation 14:6, 7
NOTE: The sounding of the gospel message to the world for the last time is a call for men to prepare for the judgment that is taking place. It is clear from these passages that, at the end of the prophetic periods of time brought to view in Daniel, the gospel message would sound to the whole world, accompanied by a message of the impending judgment.
The message of the Angel with His hand uplifted in the attitude of an oath, proclaiming that time should be no longer, was the solemn announcement that the last of the prophetic periods had reached its fulfillment, and that no chronological prophecy would extend beyond that time. No longer could men look to a future event as marking a definite period of time that must yet elapse. The next event to which their eyes were pointed was the return of Christ.
As the close of the last great time period, ending in 1844, approached, there was an increased interest in Bible prophecies such as had never been before. Far and wide was heralded the message of the soon return of Christ. It was during this time that the great foreign Bible societies were formed and the first missionaries were sent out.
7. What was the apostle John told to do with the little book? Revelation 10:9
NOTE: The eating of the book is the acceptance of the message by the believer. See Jeremiah 15:16. The hope of a soon returning Savior filled the hearts of the believers with inexpressible joy. It was truly sweet as honey in their mouths.
8. Though sweet at first, what is said regarding the book once it had been eaten? Revelation 10:10
NOTE: The students of prophecy did not at first distinguish between the work of judgment and the return of Christ. Having accepted the commonly held understanding that the earth was the sanctuary, they understood the cleansing of the sanctuary to be the purification of the earth by the fire of the last day. See 2 Peter 3:10-12. When the time pointed out in the prophecy of Daniel 8 and 9 as the time for the sanctuary to be cleansed passed and the Lord did not return, their disappointment was bitter.
9. What was said must yet take place? Revelation 10:11
NOTE: Following the great disappointment of 1844, the believers discovered the truth of the heavenly sanctuary. They saw that rather than Christ’s return, the prophecies pointed to a closing work to be accomplished for the believers just before His return to receive his waiting church. The first angel of Revelation 14 was followed by two more angels with messages. They must prophesy yet again.